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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

County seeks buyers for Exxon Mobil site


One of the top commercial properties for sale in Fairfax County lies just outside Annandale: The 117-acre site being vacated by Exxon Mobil offers a huge opportunity to bring high-quality jobs and new tax revenue to the area.

“There has been a great deal of interest, from the public sector, private sector, institutions, and investors,” said Gerald Gordon, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). ”We don’t know how serious they are yet.”

“The possibilities are virtually endless,” Gordon said. “Exxon Mobil was a spectacular corporate citizen” that contributed to schools and organizations. “We’d like to get someone like that.”

Exxon Mobil, which moved its corporate headquarters to the Gallows Road site in 1980, announced in June 2012 plans to relocate to Houston. It’s not known how many of the 2,100 employees will choose to stay in Northern Virginia and seek other jobs or retire.

Exxon Mobil owns the property and will select the buyer. Whoever purchases it would have to operate within what the county wants to happen there. There are three options, Gordon said: the new owners could use the existing buildings, make changes to those buildings, or start over.

The property, rebranded as One Fairfax, “is perfectly suited for a large corporate or institutional user or federal agency,” said Paul Collins, vice chairman of Cassidy Turley, the real estate company hired by Exxon Mobil to market the property. “Opportunities to acquire a property of this caliber and scale in such a vibrant community are rare.”

Cassidy Turley is marketing the property to business prospects, investors and developers suggested by the FCEDA and its offices in Boston, Los Angeles, Bangalore, London, Munich, Seoul, and Tel Aviv.

The property includes four interconnected office buildings and an “amenities building” with a total of 1.2 million square feet. There are conference facilities, a fitness center, swimming pool, cafeteria, plaza dining, landscaped terraces, a 1.1-mile nature trail, and 2,588 parking spaces. 

The entire site is zoned for commercial development, and an additional 550,000 square feet is available for future development. Exxon Mobil pays about $2.2 million a year in property taxes to the county. If a new owner develops more of the property, the tax revenues would increase.

According to Mike Wing in Providence Supervisor Linda Smyth’s office, a corporate headquarters, more office building, and a hotel would be allowed under the county’s comprehensive plan.

The property is “an island unto itself,” Wing said, as it’s hemmed in by Gallows Road, Route 50, and the beltway. There are only two access points. He said Smyth would like to see the wooded areas on the property preserved.

According to Gordon, the county might permit some trees to be removed if additional trees are planted on another location on the property.

10 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great new home for the FBI

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  2. Please, please, preserve the wooded areas! That "an additional 550,000 square feet is available for future development" is really scary. How much green space would be left if that is developed?

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  3. This is an area that is too distant from metro for the kind of dense mixed use development we need (also too far from metro for the FBI, BTW). So best to keep that woodland for now. Develop it later (hopefully with a park open to the public as well as denser development) in 30 or 40 years.

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  4. There are buses that go straight to the Dunn Loring metro

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  5. Understand the FBI requirement is 2 miles to Metro. This property is just about 1.5 miles.

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    1. Google Maps directions shows it as 2.8 miles from Dunn Loring metro. That misses the FBI requirement.

      And the buses are handy, but lets get them to every 15 minutes, and with some priority over auto traffic, before we call this a TOD site.

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    2. You may want to check that routing for 2.8. It takes you past the station to Cottage Street, then to Bucknell, back onto Cottage, then back down Gallows to the station. The straight shot from Anderson to the station entrance is much more like 1.5. Google Maps shows 1.9 from Anderson to Cottage alone.

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  6. Fairfax County should buy it. Think of how many of the much needed RSUs can fit in there. Plenty of space for a school on site, ER across the street for free hospital visits. County needs more low income housing and illegals.

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    1. LOL!!!

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    2. The county does need more low income housing - we have homeless people in our parks, camped in the woods in highway clover leafs, etc. We need fewer small minded folk like yourself.

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